Promising season ends on a bad note
Published: Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 13:05
After finishing as the runner-up in Conference USA last season, the Miners were out to improve on that as they also host this year’s C-USA tournament. Twenty games later, UTEP is on the outside looking in, finishing the season with at 10-10 mark.
All season long, the Miners struggled to capture any wins on the road, as they lost eight of 10 games away from home.
“I think we struggle when we are away because of the simple fact that we do not have our home crowd,” junior midfielder, Gina Soto said. “The atmosphere of being at home to that of when traveling is very different. When you travel somewhere everything about the environment is different. From the locker room, to the field, to even the weather and it is always difficult to adapt to.”
With conference games coming to an end, the Miners’ last opportunity to qualify for the conference tournament rested on the outcome of UTEP’s match up against Houston.
However, the Miners lost to the Cougars, 3-0.
“I really thought we were all mentally ready, but after they scored that first goal on us, all of us shut down,” senior forward, Brittany Kindzierski said. “It was not just one or two individuals, it was the whole team, and we were just defeated. If we had just scored in the first half, it would have just changed everything, and the game would have ended differently.”
After another road defeat, the Miners looked to finish their season on a high note at home against Colorado College.
Despite having the support of their home crowd and spirits high from the Senior Night celebration, UTEP came up short, losing their last game against the top seeded Tigers, 2-0.
“Things have not gone our way this season,” head coach, Kevin Cross said. “We felt that we had a team that was capable of beating anybody like we did when we beat Memphis, but we have a lot of bad luck with six out of 21 season ending injuries, eight players, six while we were on the road, and some bad referee calls, so things have not really gone our way.”
The Miners finished with a conference standing of 3-8, losing all of their C-USA road games.
“This season is definitely not what I expected,” Soto said. “We had a lot of talent this year and we were expecting a lot of great outcomes. Unfortunately we did not get to where we want to be and it hurts because we know what were capable of and it just did not play out in our favor.”
While the season for the Miners may be over, the soccer action is only picking up in El Paso, as the university preps to host the 2012 C-USA Championship tournament, for the second time in the school’s history.
Missing eligibility for 2012 tournament by two places, the Miners will have to watch from the sidelines, as the top eight teams compete on UTEP’s own University Field.
“I thought we were going to do a lot better,” Kindzierski said. “Expectations were really high and I think that is why we are so devastated that we did not make it into the tournament. It stings knowing that the tournament is going to be held here in our home and that we will not be able to defend it.”
The championship tournament will begin Oct. 31 with the quarterfinals, semifinals Nov. 2 and the final match up Nov. 4.
Audrey Westcott may be reached at email@example.com.